Let’s just say Sam Stiles ended his high school sports career on a strange note.
A couple weeks before the state golf championship, the senior stretched four ligaments in his back that caused him to struggle with pain to close out the season.
But just a few days before the 3A tournament at The Creek at Qualchan, Stiles said his back finally started feeling better.
That was until the incident that occurred the Monday night before the tournament kicked off on Tuesday morning.
“I was leaving the Spokane Country Club and I look up and see an old, white Nissan flying at me backwards,” Stiles said.
He estimated the vehicle was coming at him between 35 and 40 mph.
“I was honking my horn and flashing my lights,” he said. “Finally I just tried to get out of the way.”
The backwards-driving, on-coming vehicle continued and smashed into the right side of Stiles’ car. The Nissan went up an embankment, rolled twice and ended up on its side.
“The driver climbed out the top. He was yelling something,” Stiles said. “He definitely was under the influence. He just took off.”
Law enforcement arrived and learned that the registered owner of the Nissan was incarcerated in the Spokane County Jail at the time. The investigating officers believed the vehicle was stolen, Stiles said.
As for the fleeing driver: “The cops never found him,” he said.
However, as a result, Stiles only got about three hours of sleep and tweaked his back injury.
The next day, on Tuesday, Stiles shot an 82 – the worst 18-hole score he shot all season – and missed the cut. He then got a call from his mother to say that the insurance company determined that his car had been totalled.
“It was just a weird event ,” Stiles said. “It sucks.”